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Showing posts from 2019

Dinogenics 2nd Printing!

I reviewed the game Diongenics back in February when the first round of kickstarter games finally shipped... and I'm excited to say it's getting a 2nd printing! We've played several more times and I REALLY love it. It combines my love of worker-placement Agricola with Gunnar's love of Jurassic Park and all things Dinosaur. And this printing has an expansion with SEA CREATURES...which Jack will love when he's old enough to play. (He is obsessed with ancient marine reptiles like the Mosasaur.) It's only available for order for about 23 or so more days so check it out!

Unfinished Projects Goals

As I started cleaning out and organizing my crafting closet, I of course came across a pile of unfinished projects languishing at the back. They were abandoned for a variety of reasons over the past years from frustration to mistakes to lack of materials to just plain being unable to decide what to do next!

Over the next few months I would like to try and finish one of these unfinished projects each month...or get rid of them.

Magenta Baby Quilt - Started while I had morning sickness and can't look at it without feeling sick

Umbrella Quilt - It was ugly and I had no idea how to make it not ugly

Halloween Quilt - top finished, needs to be quilted

Foxes Baby Quilt - top finished, needs to be quilted

College T-Shirt quilt - Ran out of interfacing, got frustrated with ironing all the old t-shirts

Gunnar's Renfair Doublet - Got overwhelmed by several mistakes and shoved it aside

Red and Bluebirds Garden Quilt - I messed up and couldn't figure out how to save it!

Youtube Spotlight: Primitive Technology

This channel is a favorite of everyone in the house! This guy lives in Australia and does experiments in primitive living and technology in the rain forest near his house. He doesn't live out there full time, but he he shows in simple detail how one might go about making things like huts, ovens, and gardens out of only things that he can find in the forest.

His videos don't come out very often, but it's always exciting when he does publish one!

Also be sure to turn on the Closed Captions! There is no narration, so all the explanations are in the captions.

What I'm Reading Watching Playing: June

What I'm Reading Wheel of Time #14 A Memory of Light by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson DONE! I've officially finished all 14 of the Wheel of Time books! I would like to do an in depth spoiler-ful review of the series soon, but for now I'll stick to my impression of the final book: WORTH IT.

It was a long road with some slogging along the way, but this final segment really lives up to the hype. It ties up pretty much all the loose threads in very satisfying ways, there are enough character deaths that I don't feel like Tarmon Gai'don was too easy, but enough happy endings that I don't feel like the whole slog was for nothing either. Sanderson did a great job of cutting out unnecessary characters and descriptions and keeping to the meat of what was happening. I'm excited that Gunnar is reading it now, and definitely looking forward to Amazon's adaptation coming out in a year or two!
The 19th Wife by David EbershoffI needed a quick easy non-fantasy r…

Austin Comicon 2019!

Sunday was Father's Day, and Gunnar took the boys to Austin Comicon! I stayed home with the little kids this time, but maybe next year we can all go! They apparently had a ton of fun at the Jedi Academy, the kid's magic show, the science booth, and looking at all the costumes. Jack really wanted to go to the science demo, but it was full by the time they got back from lunch. Speaking of lunch, eat before you go because three hot dogs and a drink was $50 at the Cedar Park HEB Center! I loved getting picture updates through the day. Maybe next year I'll make them some Jedi costumes to wear! 
Jack and James at the kid's Jedi Academy!  

 James said "I saw your movie! Do you know Miles Morales??" 
"We didn't know that R2D2 was alive!" 

Little House on the Prairie Doll Dress

Another historical doll outfit! This dress was made with the Thimbles and Acorns pattern "Laura and Mary." Which is based on a photo of Laura and Mary Ingalls taken in 1880.

I made this riiight before Miles was born, a small project to lift my lumbering spirits! I had a little trouble with the cuffs--entirely the fault of my brain, not the pattern--and I had to try three times to get them right, but otherwise it was a very easy, straightforward project. The fabric is just a cotton quilting cotton from my stash and the cute button is from my big bucket of estate-sale buttons.

I've read the Little House books countless times through my life and always loved them. In fact, they were what got me interested in sewing to begin with when I was a little girl! My first ever sewing project was a bonnet for one of my dolls, followed by a bonnet for me! I had blue dress that reminded me of the one in the picture on the cover of "On the Banks of Plum Creek (my favorite Little …

Youtube Spotlight: Morgan Donner

I LOVE watching costume-making videos on Youtube, and Morgan Donner is one of my favorites! She mostly focuses on medieval reenactment which is her hobby, but like the video below, she has projects from lots of different eras. Check out her channel!

What I'm Reading Watching Playing: May

What I'm Reading Wheel of Time 12: The Gathering Storm
Brandon Sanderson was a favorite author of mine before I had heard of Wheel of Time at all, and part of the reason that I started reading this series. Some reviewers have said that the transition between the novels written by Jordan and the ones by Sanderson is jarring, but I found it not just smooth but..refreshing. In the last few novels that Jordan wrote, the story was stagnant and the endless descriptions were dragging the pace down, so it was very nice when things got moving again. Sanderson's style is different, but I think he got the core of all the characters right.  This book picked up the pace and started on the massive task of resolving plot lines that had been danging since the very first book!
Wheel of Time 13: Towers of MidnightThe endgame is in sight, characters that have been apart for a long time are finally coming back together, and exciting changes are FINALLY happening. I especially liked Perrin's …

New Catan Pillow!

So this isn't exactly a Catan Quilt update, but it is definitely related! (I made this about a month ago, before I had Miles!)
As mentioned previously, I once, many many years ago, made a Catan pillow for my couch. I used scraps, had zero knowledge of how to sew hexagons or quilt anything at all, and was very literal in my interpretation of the game board! Over the years this pillow has been used and abused and well loved, but after being barfed on (and washed!) one too many times, it was finally time to throw it away. 
So, being allllmost done with all the land hexes for my huge Catan quilt, I went ahead and stitched together an actual game-sized selection of hexes and quilted them onto some rejected mountain-hex fabric to make a new pillow! The back, like the previous pillow, has a pocket opening so that the cover can be washed and the inner pillow replaced as needed.
It's a small project and a small win, but I really needed that. This pregnancy was difficult and we've …

Introducing Miles Gabriel

Welcome to the world! Meet Miles Gabriel. He came into the world last Friday and has been making everyone very happy! He was 8 lb 1 oz and 18 3/4 in long and has a lot of very dark hair! 
My posting schedule will be a bit off from usual as I endure the sleepless nights and recover from my c-section, but I have a few posts already mostly typed up and ready to go that I will put up when I have time. Our family is thrilled to meet him and glad that everyone is healthy. 

Dinosaur Baby Quilt

Finished! With a week to spare, I got new baby's dinosaur quilt done. The main fabric is a pack of fat eighths called "Hear me Roar" by Studio E Fabrics which I ordered off of etsy...I meant to buy a fat quarters pack and accidentally got fat eighths...the first of many mistakes! The border fabric is just some quilting cotton from Joann's. I try not to use quilting cotton from Joann's because I have found that they fades A LOT after years of use and hundreds of washings compared to more expensive brands. But sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do! Once I have some fabric in hand, it's hard to find good color matches online rather than in person, plus I didn't really have time to wait for shipping. Technically this baby can decide to come whenever he feels like it at this point! 

I had many problems while I was making this quilt, and even though I'm overall happy with how it turned out, I'm still not ecstatic about it. It's not my favorite q…

What I'm Reading Watching Playing: April

What I'm Playing Sadly, I haven't had the time or energy to play any fun new games this month, what with baby coming in a week (!) and several bouts of horrible stomach viruses making their rounds it the family, but I have been playing some games with my boys. Jack is 7 and James is 5, and thankfully we have moved beyond Candy Land and into some actually fun games! 
Hiss This is a simple tile-laying and color matching game but surprisingly fun and satisfying. Each player takes turns laying down colored segments of snakes, trying to make the longest snake that has a head, tail, and as many matching colored middle pieces as you can draw in a row. 
It's great for younger players because you don't have to be able to read, and it goes very quick. A patient 3 year old who can match colors could easily play, but my 7 year old Jack still loves it too.

What I'm Reading Wheel of Time Book 9: Winter's Heart I didn't have high hopes for this book after how book 8 drag…

Powering Through a Project and Hating It

I can admit that I'm not above abandoning projects.  I have plenty of "I'll go back and finish it someday" projects stacked up in my office closet right now, in fact! And occasionally when I get sick of looking at the huge stack, I go through and throw some away, repurpose the materials, or even, occasionally, finish them!

This baby quilt that I'm working on has almost been abandoned SO MANY TIMES in the past month it it is driving me crazy. I have two weeks until this new baby gets here though, and I am determined to finish it even if it turns out HIDEOUS--which I honestly can't decide if it is hideous or acceptable, and I change my mind about it pretty much five times a day. Can I blame that on hormones?

It doesn't help that I've been horribly sick with two different stomach viruses over the past two weeks which, which nine months pregnant, really really sucks. Luckily everything is okay with baby so far, but it doesn't make for much sewing or …

DIY Family Photos

Every year I think, "This time I'm going to hire a professional photographer to take our family photos," and then every year I look up the prices of professional photographers in my area and very quickly change my mind!

I have nothing against professional photographers--we hired one for our wedding and I am very happy that we did! And I'm crazy jealous of people who are friends with professional photographers who give them discounts on things like family photos, don't get me wrong. The quality of those pictures is definitely miles above what I can do on my own.
In fact, we started doing our own family photos out of pure necessity--we couldn't afford it when Gunnar was in school--and then we got pretty good at it and I couldn't justify the money even when we could technically afford it, and even besides the money aspect, the cons are pretty much dealbreakers for me. Most of the photographers I've priced out have strict copyright policies, only give yo…

Cowboy and Cowgirl Doll Quilts

I originally bought this "Howdy" charm pack (by Stacy Iest Hsu for Moda) to make a baby quilt for my cousin's little girl, but the pack was half girl charms and half boy charms...and not enough to make a baby quilt for either one. It sat on my desk for a long while until I needed a few pick-me-up quick projects, and then they became two separate doll quilts--one for a cowgirl and one for a cowboy!  I actually made them back in October or so, but just finally got around to taking pictures! Now I can sell them or give them away guilt free!

Both are just simple charm squares laid out how I liked them, backed with a fat quarter of the same line of fabric and bound in some leftover cream satin blanket binding. Two extra charm squares became two small decorative pillows.

Front above, back below. 

Front above, back below. 

I can't decide which one I like better! How cute would these be for baby girl and boy twins??